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Science Nation: New Mosquito Repellant Could Be Frightening...for the Mosquitoes!

2 minutes 34 seconds

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Vanderbilt University researchers say they're working to unleash an insect repellent on mosquitoes that’s more powerful than DEET. The discovery could one day be effective in reducing the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria. It's based on a mosquito's sense of smell. With support from the National Science Foundation, Vanderbilt University biologist Laurence Zwiebel researched which mosquito genes are linked to odor reception. He discovered a separate odor sensor on a mosquito's antennae. According to Zwiebel, mosquitoes use odor sensors to sniff out humans and other tasty animals to bite. The new insect repellent compound takes advantage of his discovery by overwhelming the mosquito’s odor sensors to the point that they can't smell anything else and get scared away.

Media Details

Runtime: 2 minutes 34 seconds

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